Greetings from the Farm - Dan Rubin's Letters to 5th Grade Families
Greetings from Roxbury
Greetings from the end of Day One at the farm! Whispering voices have finally faded into the calm of the Roxbury night, the snow has melted off the boots gathered beside the back door, and we dream of the zucchini bread and garlic breadsticks we've already had and of the pancakes and blueberry cake we will encounter tomorrow morning.
After our lovely bus ride with Ed, we disembarked and the kids reunited with the rest of the farm staff. The snow has blanketed the fields of the farm, and some wintry free time included visits to the barn to see the animals, trips up the hill to do a little sledding, and sojourns to the ball-field to build forts of snow. I was treated to a wonderful tour—it's amazing how these city kids know the ins and outs of the farm as well as they know 85th Street!
We ended the evening with two rounds of everyone's favorite farm game, Panic, in which each room of kids prepares a very brief skit on an assigned category: tonight's themes were "The Mystery of the Missing___________" and "Farm Trip: The Musical."
Tomorrow is our pool party, our start of farm classes with Annie & Co., and our weekly book club meeting! More updates to come!
Good Night From the Farm!
Greetings from the end of Day Two at the farm!
Some gentle icy rain intruded on to the calm snow-carpeted hills today, but the water that really mattered was inside the Catskill Recreation Center's delightful indoor swimming pool where we spent most of our evening. This excursion meant that there was no time for our usual evening academic time since we left for the pool right after dinner—your children were horrified to miss out on academics today, but I think they'll find it within themselves to forgive us for taking them to a pool instead.
Writing and math might not have made it on to our jam-packed schedule today, but there was still ample learning from sunrise (barn chores!) to sundown (also barn chores!): in between, students had astounding classes to choose from on the snowy hills, in the barn, in the textiles building, and in the kitchen. I joined the amazing Annie on snow-shoeing missions during both of our class sessions today: it was a priceless treat to see your children's leadership blossom, curiosity take flight, and courage solidify as they pursued fox tracks, identified squirrel scat, and ventured bravely off the trail in search of new discoveries.
I didn't get to check out the other classes in action today, but I did have three pieces of a tremendous blueberry cake baked by Edward and Hector, not to mention a splendid fruit salad prepared by students working with Chef Gabby later in the day. Everyone will get a chance to rotate into the classes they didn't get to today during our two class sessions tomorrow.
We closed out the evening with two invigorating rounds of Panic!: "The Big Tim" (ask your kids) and "Fisherpeople Out to Sea." Then Lo and I took turns reading chapters of The Phantom Tollbooth aloud in the center of the hallway until everyone had fallen asleep (or, at least, had fallen silent). It's been fantastic to have Lo with us on this journey, along with the new terrific farm intern Leila!
Tomorrow will surely bring more adventure, more baked goods, and more spirited, hilarious moments for our 5th grade community. (And more academics, I promise!)
More updates to come!